Samsung chairman says son to be promoted

Nov 17, 2010 By KELLY OLSEN , AP Business Writer
FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2008 file photo, Lee Jae-yong, son of then-Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, arrives for questioning by special prosecutors investigating allegations of corruption at the huge conglomerate at the office of special prosecutors in Seoul, South Korea. Lee Jae-yong would be promoted from executive vice president, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee said Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Park Ji-ho) KOREA OUT

(AP) -- The chairman of Samsung Electronics said Wednesday his son will be promoted to a more powerful executive position, preparing the global technology giant for an eventual change in leadership.

Samsung Electronics Co. is the flagship corporation of the Samsung Group conglomerate, which consists of dozens of other businesses including shipbuilding, construction, leisure and finance.

Chairman Lee Kun-hee, 68, has steered Samsung into a major force in the world electronics industry, where it holds the No. 1 positions in and flat screen televisions and ranks No. 2 in mobile phones.

Attention has long been focused on an expected handover of power to Lee's son at family controlled Samsung. The company is a source of pride among South Koreans for its technological prowess as well as controversy for its scrapes with the law.

Lee Kun-hee, returning from the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, answered "yes" to a question from a reporter about whether he had decided to promote his son, executive vice president Lee Jae-yong, video footage on cable news channel YTN's website showed.

Lee Kun-hee, ranked by Forbes Asia as South Korea's richest person with a $7.9 billion fortune, also nodded his head affirmatively to another question on whether the promotion would be reflected in Samsung's upcoming executive changes.

Samsung in the past has carried out reshuffles of top executives at the end or beginning of the year. There was one in December last year and South Korean media reports said promotion of the younger Lee would likely come at the end of this year.

Some reports said Lee Jae-yong would be made president, but his father did not appear to specify any position in the YTN footage. Lee Soo-jeong, a Samsung spokeswoman, said that Lee did not mention one.

Samsung's current president and CEO is Choi Gee-sung. The company's management includes other positions that also come with the title of president, such as in its mobile communications business.

Lee Jae-yong, 42, also holds the position of chief operating officer at Samsung. Sometimes known as Jay Y. Lee, he was promoted to his posts in December last year and has previously served as chief customer officer and vice president for strategic planning.

He graduated from South Korea's elite Seoul National University with a degree in East Asian history and has an MBA from Japan's Keio University. His father is a graduate of Japan's Waseda University.

Lee Kun-hee stepped down as chairman of Samsung Electronics in April 2008 upon indictment for tax evasion. He was later convicted and sentenced to a suspended three-year prison term, though pardoned by South Korea's president in December 2009. He returned to lead the company in March this year.

Presidential pardons for convicted tycoons are not unusual in South Korea. Despite democratic reforms, the country has struggled with a legacy of political and corporate corruption that has roots in military-backed governments that helped spearhead its rise from one of world's poorest countries to an industrial powerhouse.

The Samsung conglomerate was founded by Lee's father, the late Lee Byung-chull.

Shares in fell 2 percent Wednesday to close at 795,000 won.

Explore further: Weibo shares jump in market debut

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Former Samsung chairman Lee returns to top post

Mar 24, 2010

(AP) -- Lee Kun-hee, the former chairman of Samsung Electronics convicted of tax evasion and later pardoned by South Korea's president, has returned to lead the company after a nearly two-year absence.

Samsung appeals against illicit gain

Oct 11, 2005

Samsung appealed Tuesday a ruling that its chairman was involved in a deal to transfer control of the company from father to son.

Samsung outlines $20.6 billion investment plan

May 11, 2010

(AP) -- Samsung said Tuesday it plans to invest 23.3 trillion won ($20.6 billion) over the next decade in technologies including solar cells and medical devices, aiming to boost sales and increase its work force by tens ...

Samsung to triple capital, R&D spending this year

May 17, 2010

(AP) -- Samsung Electronics said Monday it will more than triple investment in capital spending and research and development this year to a record 26 trillion won ($22.7 billion), betting on future growth despite questions ...

Recommended for you

Weibo IPO below expectations, raises $285.6 mn

19 hours ago

Sina Weibo sold fewer shares than expected in its US IPO which was priced below expectations ahead of a Thursday listing that takes place after tech selloffs on Wall Street.

'Chief Yahoo' David Filo returns to board

20 hours ago

Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of "Chief Yahoo."

Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work

21 hours ago

Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...